My Dad the U.S. China Marine

My Dad the U.S. China Marine

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Boya Pagoda Near Weiming Lake: January, 1946


The image above is of what my father referred to as the "water pagoda in Yenching University near the summer palace." This image was captured in January 1946. 




A little research on my part revealed that this is Boya Pagoda near Weiming Lake. It is a famous landmark on the campus of Peking University. It is the first established modern national university of China, founded as the "Imperial University of Peking" in 1898. Today it is listed as one of the top universities in China.

Monday, December 1, 2014

A Rare Letter Home: February 2, 1944

On my recent trip back home to Greenwich, Connecticut I was going through my files. Much to my delight this letter emerged among the papers. 

The letter is dated February 2, 1944. Dad had not yet been deployed. He was in training, specifically in the use of what was a new technology in warfare: radar. (When my father was deployed in the South Pacific he ended up being retrained in the use of radio because none of the radar equipment he needed to perform his job was there.)



My father mentioned, "I am very sorry that I haven't written anyone but I just couldn't. Someday you all will understand." The Marines as I have been told were not allowed to keep journals or to write to their loved ones, lest the contents of their letters reveal intelligence to any enemy to happen upon them. Such was the case in wartime. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thank you, Hawaii Public Radio!




Well, you just never know! This morning I headed over to Glazers Coffee, a locally-owned coffee bar in Honolulu near the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

As I sat getting my badly-needed caffeine fix for the day in walked Bill, a gregarious radio host from Hawaii Public Radio (HPR) He had set up a small broadcast console from one of the nearby tables. He invited me to exercise my First Amendment rights on HPR for ninety seconds.

Who was I to refuse?

Okay, to be honest I was a little hesitant. My caffeine fix was still working its morning magic. But it did not take Bill long at all to welcome me to hold an HPR microphone and explain the My Dad the U.S. China Marine Project.

It was fun! I had a blast educating my host and the HPR listening audience about who the China Marines were and my late-father's time in China.

Stay tuned, all. I have a sense that I'll be on HPR again in the near-future.

Moral of the story: chances like this come without warning. When they do cross your path don't ignore them. Chance encounters like this are as precious as diamonds.

Thank you, Glazers Coffee and Hawaii Public Radio! You made my day!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Encore China Marine Lecture at Greenwich Library a Success



Despite inclement weather I was very pleased to welcome members of the public to my encore lecture at Greenwich Library in Connecticut. Pictured above are some of the members of the audience who stayed for questions and conversation. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

My Dad the U.S. China Marine Featured in Manhattanville College Alumni Magazine

'Education Is Life' is Manhattanville College's School of Education alumni magazine.

The My Dad the U.S. China Marine publication project and the news about it in The China Press  were featured in the October 2014 edition.

Special thanks goes to Anita Nordal, editor and assistant dean for Community Outreach, School of Education. She also came to my lecture in Greenwich, Connecticut this past Monday night. Xie-xie!





With Appreciation from President Harry Truman





Wednesday, November 12, 2014

China Press: China Marine Lecture at China Institute in America

News of my recent lecture on the Postwar China Marines was featured in The China Press (Mandarin language only). I was informed that China Press is accessible throughout China. The first story featured this past summer went viral on China's version of Facebook. Thank you China Institute in America and China Press!


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Center Quartermaster Form: Discharge from Service

In the time I have been back in Greenwich, Connecticut my time has been spent preparing for my November 9 lecture at the China Institute in America, New York City.

I've also been digitizing various documents in my files including this one from the Quartermaster's office in San Diego, California.

After the Marines were discharged they were required to turn in their equipment.




Tuesday, September 30, 2014

You're Invited! Jeffrey Bingham Mead to Speak at the China Institute in America, November 9



I was just informed that I will be speaking at a gathering of the China Institute in America on Sunday, November 9, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

The China Institute is located at 125 East 65th Street, New York, NY 10021, between Lexington & Park Avenues. 


We will have an official announcement soon. If you are available please come! This is open to the public.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Mid-Autumn Festival Wishes to All



From me and my family to yours wherever you may be I wanted to extend heartfelt wishes as the Mid-Autumn Festival season is here. Please be safe and well! 

Of course, if you are a China Marine or a Chinese citizen -or a descendent of either- I would enjoy hearing from you about any stories of the first peacetime festival period in 1945 and beyond!



Thursday, August 21, 2014

My Dad the U.S. China Marine to be Featured in Manhattanville College's Alumni 2014 Publication

I am delighted to report that a story about the China Marine project will be featured in Education is Life, an annual alumni publication of the Manhattanville College School of Education, Purchase, New York. The news comes from Anita M. Nordal, assistant dean for Community Outreach.

She will be publishing a much more extensive story on the China Marines in next year's 2015 edition.

Here is the text of the 2014 story:


On his thirteenth birthday in Greenwich, Connecticut, Jeffrey Bingham Mead (MAT 1990) received a very unusual gift from his father: an Imperial Japanese samurai sword. His father, Herbert Mead who would be one of the postwar “China Marines,” retrieved it at the surrender ceremonies held in Tianjin, China, on September 9, 1945. 

Mead has embarked on an independent research publishing project on the history of the post-World War II China Marines stationed with his late-father in Tianjin and Beijing. You can view some of his research findings and the history behind it all at his blog site at http://mydadtheuschinamarine.blogspot.com/

“My father never was able to return to China, although he often wanted to,” Mead said. “Dad’s final request for me was to research, write and publish a book about his years in China. It was not intended to be a military history, but rather a human, personal history about what day-to-day life was like for the American China Marines, the Chinese, Japanese nationals and everyone who survived battle.” 

A story was published in August 2014 in The China Press about Mead’s China Marine history project. The story has since gone viral in China. “The Chinese really revere my father’s generation. I think Dad and the other China Marines would be touched, but they would also say that they were just doing their jobs.” 

Mead also remarked about a chance meeting in Greenwich with renowned American historian David McCullough. “When I mentioned to Mr. McCullough that Dad survived the front lines of the Battle of Okinawa he said that my father was a national hero. I was very touched by those words.” That week was the last time Mead would see his father alive. 

In November Mead has been invited to speak at a gathering of the Renwen Society of the China Institute in New York City. It is free and open to the public. 

Jeffrey Bingham Mead lives in Honolulu, Hawaii and Greenwich, Connecticut. He was a teacher at the Hawaii campus of University of Phoenix, Hawaii Tokai International College and Kapiolani Community College. He is the Hawaii coordinator of the National Council for History Education and co-founder/president of History Education Hawaii. Mead is the president of the Hawaii-based Pacific Learning Consortium, Inc. 

Jeffrey Bingham Mead
P.O. Box 183, Honolulu HI 96810-0183


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The China Press: 'Retain the memory of 70 years ago in China Wish of A former US China Marine' (English and Chinese text)







Retain the memory of 70 years ago in China Wish of A former US China Marine
by Liming Guan, Reporter
The China Press
15 E.40th St. 6F
New York, NY 10016

China Press reporter Liming Guan on August 8 in New York ——  69 year anniversary of the end of World War II - 69 years ago on August 15, Japan announced its surrender. Then a large number of American participation in the war against Japan after the war and was sent to China to help the then receives the surrender of the Japanese national government and stabilize the situation in China. Jeffrey Mead (Jeffrey Bingham Mead)'s father Herbert Mead (Herbert Bingham Mead) is the year of a United States Marine Corps, where he sent troops after the Japanese surrender in Tianjin, he himself where he spent his "life in the best time."

Born in Greenwich, Connecticut, in the past many years teaching in Hawaii this month, Jeffrey returned home in Connecticut, he is determined to complete his father's one wish before his death, that is the year for those who had been stationed in China Marines out of a book, let the world know their stories, so that they no longer just a silent, black and white photographs exist in the group on. Herbert Jeffrey's father died four years ago at the age of 86 years old. After the war most of the time at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (Bristol-Myers Squibb) in Connecticut and New Jersey branch through.

Jeffrey 8 at noon came specially from Connecticut State Manhattan, in an interview with reporters. "My father had often brought those days in China, he felt it was the best time of his life, he joined the army in 1943, were merely a child under 19 years old, just graduated from high school, he participated in the Battle of Okinawa, was front half of his comrades were sacrificed. later he went to Tianjin and Beijing, which is a novelty in the world he had never seen, the Chinese people's friendship and also let him miss, where he spent two and a half times. "

Jeffrey still remember the father had often mentioned some of the anecdotes in China. After the Japanese surrender at the time, where his father forces in Tianjin and China to accept the Japanese surrender to the army together, then the situation is still very chaotic, how to deal with those Japanese soldiers also a big problem, many Japanese soldiers and later placed in the street directing traffic; Another problem is that when the Japanese army to escape the toilet all away, so the military to Tianjin after coming from the South Pacific had to ask some of the resident air toilet.

Herbert Mead at the time of the Japanese surrender site still receives over a Japanese saber, which was part of the surrender ceremony. That was the knife he had been kept in Greenwich, Connecticut home. Jeffrey grew until after his whim one day, this brought the knife Pace University (Pace University) Westchester Angeles campus, showed a Chinese female teacher look. Female teacher who allegedly had accompanied Henry Kissinger's secret in 1971 from Pakistan to Beijing Sino-US relations in the negotiations. The female teacher was brought to see Jeffrey Japanese saber, very worried, she called several campus police, let them accompany Jeffrey taxi home, put the knife back into the home. The knife is now being donated to a local Middleton a museum.

Jeffrey also found the father had preserved some of the old photographs in China. He remembered his father on one of the photographs very mixed feelings - that is a street in Tianjin, a Chinese young man sitting in the carriage wedding photo, an American soldier standing next to greet them. "In all the haze was caused by
the war, which is still full of young people's vision of life and hope, decided to hold a wedding for yourself, it is unforgettable scene."

Herbert Mead also went to Beijing to visit around in front of the Forbidden City and other attractions take pictures. "My father was there in a whispering gallery (the Temple of Heaven Park) is very interested, he felt that something really weird, how sound can pass so far?"

In addition to China's memories, Herbert Mead seems to be little mention of his family suffered during the war in Japan. Only in the last few years of life, he began referring to the year on the battlefield experienced fear. "That was the nearest place from hell." Jeffrey retains home "Greenwich Times" (Greenwich Time) on October 23, 1945 publication of his father a letter. The letter said: "I am very glad when I was in Okinawa when the war you do not know what I was doing ... I started from April 8, at the front stayed until the fighting ended (June 22) head. We have different units a month and the Army of coordination. God! my life have never been ... so fear people in front of us, fifty percent of the people will eventually sacrifice or injured, several times I have hanging by a thread so I think I can survive purely a fluke. "

Battle of Okinawa US military lost more than 12,500 soldiers, while tens of thousands of people were injured. Japanese death more than 110,000. Battle of Okinawa brutal military decision-makers aware of the day to make landing operations may have to pay the cost, historical scholars believe that this is later prompted the United States to Japan, one of the reasons for the decision to use the atomic bomb.

As a brutal war had witnessed Marines, Herbert Mead choice for all young people have the mentality to maintain tolerance and love of life in later years. Later, he told his son Jeffrey teach in Hawaii - "Take care of the class of Japanese students, their parents are also victims of their own people to impose their wars, their governments have made that decision, they had to obey. "

Jeffrey said that next year's September 9 is the 70th anniversary of the Japanese surrender in Tianjin, his father was one of the year ceremony of American Marines, several generations before the Marines in line to see his blog (mydadtheuschinamarine. blogspot.com), but also have to contact him and suggested that next year went to Tianjin to commemorate this special day. He also hoped that the future will be contacted to more embassies Marines themselves or their offspring together a book and let the world remember that history, and that the young generation. His father had also endorsed the view, "Now that some people should be more research into modern history, do not forget how we reached the peace today, not because the various interests of the immediate dispute and let the world slide into the time of war again."


Chinese text:

留住70年前在中国的记忆
一位前海军陆战队员的心愿

【侨报记者管黎明8月8日纽约报道】今年是二战结束69周年 ——
69年前的8月15日,日本宣布投降。当年大批参与对日作战的美军在战后又被派往中国,协助当时的国民政府接收投降的日军并稳定中国的局势。杰弗里·米德(Jeffrey Bingham Mead)的父亲赫伯特·米德(Herbert Bingham
Mead)便是当年美国海军陆战队的一员,他所在的部队在日本投降后被派往天津,他本人在那里度过了自己“一生中最美好的时光”。

生在康州格林威治、过去多年在夏威夷教书的杰弗里在这个月回到了康州老家,他立志要完成父亲生前的一桩心愿,就是为那些当年被派驻过中国的海军陆战队员出一本书,让世人知道他们的故事,让他们不再只是一个无声的、存在于黑白照片上的群体。杰弗里的父亲赫伯特四年前去世,享年86岁。战后大部分时间在施贵宝公司(Bristol-Myers Squibb)在康州和新泽西的分公司度过。

杰弗里8日中午特地从康州赶来曼哈顿,接受记者的采访。“我父亲生前经常提起在中国的那段日子,他觉得那是他一生中最美好的时光。他1943年参军时还只是个不满19岁的孩子,刚刚高中毕业。他参加了冲绳战役,当时前线一半的战友都牺牲了。后来他去了天津和北京,那是他从来没见过的一个新奇的世界,中国人的友好也让他非常怀念。他在那里度过了两年半时光。”

杰弗里仍记得父亲生前经常提到的一些在中国的轶事。当时日本投降后,他父亲所在的部队在天津和中国军队一起接受日军的投降,当时局势仍相当混乱,怎么处理那些日本兵也是个大问题,很多日本兵后来就被安排到街上去指挥交通;还有一个问题就是日军逃跑时将马桶全都带走了,所以美军到了天津后不得不要求从南太平洋的一些驻地空运马桶过来

赫伯特·米德还在当时的日军投降现场接收过一把日本军刀,这是当时投降仪式的一部分。那把军刀后来一直被他保存在康州格林威治的家中。等到杰弗里长大后,他某一天心血来潮,将这把军刀带到佩斯大学(Pace
University)威切斯特分校的校园里,拿给一位华裔女老师看。那位女老师据称曾在1971年陪同基辛格秘密从巴基斯坦飞往北京谈判中美建交的事宜。当时这位女老师看到杰弗里拿来的日本军刀,显得非常担心,她叫来几名校警,让他们陪同杰弗里打车回家,把军刀放回家里。这把军刀如今被米德一家捐赠给了当地一个博物馆。

杰弗里也找到了父亲当年保存下来的一些在中国的老照片。他记得父亲对其中一张照片非常感慨 ——
那是一张在天津大街上,一对中国年轻人坐着马车结婚的照片,一名美军士兵站在旁边和他们打招呼。“在当时战争所带来的所有阴霾中,这对年轻人仍旧满怀着对人生的憧憬和希望,决定为自己举办婚礼,那是让人难以忘怀的一幕。”

赫伯特·米德也到北京四处参观,在故宫等名胜古迹前拍照留念。“我父亲对那里的一个回音壁(天坛公园内)非常感兴趣,他觉得那东西简直有些不可思议,声音怎么可以传那么远?”

在中国的美好记忆之外,赫伯特·米德似乎很少对家人提起在日本打仗时的遭遇。只是在生命的最后几年,他开始提到当年在战场上所经历的恐惧。“那是离地狱最近的地方。”
杰弗里保留着老家的《格林威治时报》(Greenwich
Time)在1945年10月23日刊登的他父亲的一封家书。信中写道:“我很庆幸当我在冲绳打仗的时候你们不知道当时我在做什么。。。我从4月8日开始,在前线一直呆到战斗结束(6月22日)。头一个月我们和陆军的不同分队协同作战。老天!我一辈子从来没那么恐惧过。。。我们在前线的人,百分之五十的人最终都牺牲或受伤,我好几次都命悬一线,所以我觉得我能活下来纯粹是侥幸。”

冲绳战役中美军失去了1万2500多名士兵,另有数万人受伤。日军死亡超过11万人。冲绳战役的残酷令美军决策者意识到对日登陆作战可能要付出的代价历史学者们认为这也是后来促使美国决定对日本使用原子弹的原因之一。

作为一名亲历过战争残酷的海军陆战队员,赫伯特·米德在后来的人生里选择对所有的青年人都保持宽容和爱护的心态。他叮嘱后来在夏威夷教书的儿子杰弗里
—— “照顾好班里的日本学生,他们的父辈也是自己人强加给他们的战争的受害者,他们的政府做出了那样的决定,他们不得不服从。”

杰弗里表示,明年的9月9日是日军在天津投降70周年,父亲是当年仪式现场的美军陆战队员之一,好几位前陆战队员的后代在网上看到他的博客(mydadtheuschinamarine.blogspot.com),也纷纷与他联络,并建议明年一起去天津纪念这个特殊的日子。他也希望未来能够联络到更多驻华陆战队员本人或者他们的后代,共同出一本书,让世界记住那段历史和那一代的年轻人。他也赞同父亲生前的观点,“现在的人应当多研究那一段现代史,不要忘记今天的和平是怎么来的,不要因为眼前的各种利益纠纷而让世界再次陷入当年的混战局面。”


图a:杰弗里展示父亲当年在天津街头的照片。(侨报记者管黎明摄)

b:赫伯特·米德和父母在一起的老照片。(侨报记者管黎明摄)

c:杰弗里在曼哈顿街头。他表示,自己已经15年没来过纽约,路都有点不认得了。(侨报记者管黎明摄)

d - 当年家乡报纸对赫伯特·米德的报道。(杰弗里·米德提供)

e - 杰弗里的父亲生前经常提起的婚车照片。(管黎明翻拍)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Home for the Summer 2014: Taking the Next Step

After the success of the first-ever Summer History Education Hawaii Conference this past June 13-15, I decided to return to my home in Greenwich, Connecticut. It's good to be home.

Originally, my plans were to take me back to Singapore until August 29. I've recently made a decision to have my business, The Pacific Learning Consortium, Inc., listed and open in the Lion City. Singapore is one of my favorite places in the world to visit. I've always wanted to do business there -and I am determined to do so.

However, some unexpected things have happened since mid-June. I was invited to participate in Greenwich's Independence Day Association's July 4 celebration at the Town Hall. Descendants of the founder of the town are recognized, and my presence was requested. I had not been in Greenwich since November, 2013. I felt overdue for a visit, and I needed to take care of some business.

This trip to my ancestral home marks a change in direction for me.

I have given over 15 years of my time and efforts in Hawaii. While I am not severing all my ties to the islands I have called a second-home I feel a need to turn the page and write a new chapter. There's no better time than now to shift gears. The timing seems appropriate.

One of the projects I've decided to focus much more on is the one this blog site is most associated with. Earlier this year -and with the urging of a few of my followers- to turn the 'My Dad the U.S. China Marine' project into a series. An increasing number of other descendants of the postwar China Marines have contacted me after finding this site. Those who have been in touch have shared their own stories and memories of the years their fathers spent in duty with the U.S. Marines in Northeastern China. So, the mission of this project has taken on an enlarged dimension. It presents challenges and exciting possibilities.

I was recently reminded that September 9, 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the surrender in Tianjin of the Japanese Empire to China. My father was there. The China Marine fathers of many others were there, too. A few have suggested we be there next year.

July 18, 2015 also marks the 375th year of the founding of Greenwich, Connecticut. In 1990 I was very active and a co-chair of the 350th year celebrations. It was exhausting and fun -and a few have asked me to be in Greenwich next July. I certainly plan on it!

My business, The Pacific Learning Consortium, will require me to be in Hawaii and elsewhere. Right now I am leading my team in a first-year assessment of the firm, making changes and decisions about our future directions.

I've been asked to speak to the Japan Society of Fairfield County, Connecticut in August. In addition, I just received an invitation to return here in November to address the China Institute of New York. I've accepted.

So, for the next 6-12 months my efforts will be to bringing the publication my father had in mind to fruition before he died over four years ago. I will be doing fundraising though crowdsourcing, and as such your donations will be greatly appreciated.

I will be in town until August 28 as I am due back in Honolulu on the 29th. I expect to be in Hawaii until September 26.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Greenwich Patch: A Published Letter Home After the Battle of Okinawa, 1945



I've been maintaining an associated blog site on Greenwich Patch, a news source in my Greenwich, Connecticut home town. 

This morning I posted a piece about a published letter in the October 23 edition of the Greenwich Time, the town's daily newspaper. Click here to read it.

In the letter Dad wrote:

"When I was transferred from the 3rd Amphibious Corps to the First Marine Division, I was changed from radar to radio and I am still in radio. I carried a portable radio on my back in combat. During operations I was with the Fifth Marines, which is an infantry outfit, as a 'forward observer' for the 11th Marines (Artillery). 

"I was on the front lines from April 8 until the fighting ended. The first month we were working with different Army outfits. Boy! I was never so scared in all my life. 

"On an O.P. team there are one officer, two radio men, one scout sergeant and three wire men. Each Battery sends out two teams. Of all our men who were up on the line 50 per cent were killed or wounded so I guess I was just lucky for I had many a close call." 
Dad graduated from Greenwich High School in June, 1943. A few weeks after graduation he enlisted and departed for Parris Island for Marine Corps training. At the time this piece was published he had been in the Pacific Theatre for 19 months. 
Why was the Battle of Okinawa significant? The island could be used as a staging point for a full-scaled invasion of the Japanese home islands. Historians also note that this battle indicated to military planners just how heavy a toll it would be for such an invasion to take place. 

Travel Plans: June 30, 2014 - August 29, 2014 in Connecticut

On Monday evening, June 30, I will be flying from Honolulu to return to Connecticut. 

My plans are to be on the East Coast until August 29. 

This is not a summer holiday. Rather, this is an opportunity for me to learn more about what was happening on the home front during the Second World War. 

Likewise, I am looking for opportunities to speak to individuals, groups and media sources about the My Dad the US China Marine Project. 

If you are a fellow descendant of the post-war China Marines I'd enjoy meeting you!

Friday, June 20, 2014

China Marine Descendants Come Forth: Beth Breeding, daughter of Robert E. Beahrs

While getting my day started here in Honolulu I received this from Beth Breeding, whose father was a post-war China Marine:

My name is Beth Breeding, daughter of Robert E. Beahrs, who was a China Marine from October, 1946 until June of 1947 when he was stationed in Guam.  He was part of the First Engineer Battalion A Company in Peiping.

I was so happy to find your information on Facebook and your blog.  Over a year ago I had begun doing a great deal of research on my dad’s time in the Marines in order to create a scrapbook for him and have found the history very interesting.

I am sorry to hear that you lost your dad a few years ago.  My dad is living in home hospice in Fort WorthTexas.  He is very lucid and was very excited when I showed him your blog.  While he was in a different unit from your dad’s and did not know him he enjoyed the photos that you had posted.

I hope to hear from you in the near future.  Should you be interested I can send you a YouTube link to the scrapbook that I made for him.

Thank you, Beth! Please thank your father for his service. When you send that YouTube link I will certainly feature it here. Semper Fi!

UPDATE: One hour later:

It was great to get such a fast response from you!

This is the link to the YouTube file: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSocU0q2T6o.  I had made a scrapbook for my dad last year as a Father’s Day present.  It would not have been possible without the help of John Ahigian, my dad’s bunkmate while stationed in China.  Over the years my dad had lost his photos from that time, and after an internet search a few years ago contacted him.  John sent tons of photos – it was great!

I see that you have links on your blog including the National China Marine Association, which John Ahigian is a part of.  Unfortunately due to poor health my dad has never been able to attend any of the reunions.  I believe another one is coming up in the next few months, possibly while you are here on the mainland.  I will look up dates.  I am under the impression that it will be the last one ever scheduled.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

A Posthumous Happy Father's Day to My Dad, Herbert Bingham Mead, US China Marine


Here is a posthumous Happy Father's Day to my father, pictured here in China, where he often said he enjoyed the happiest days of his life. I am aware that there are those among you also beam with pride the distinction of being a descendant of other US China Marines in the post-World War II era. 

I found the eulogy I delivered from Hawaii. Since I was unable to attend his funeral in our ancestral home, Greenwich, Connecticut USA, and bid a final farewell four years ago I was able to do so digitally:

"My name is Jeffrey Bingham Mead, the only son of Herbert Bingham Mead. Since the sad news of my father’s passing I have received here in Hawaii many heartfelt expressions of condolence and comfort from around the world, including from some of you gathered at Christ Church Greenwich.

"On this first day of Spring we bid farewell to a true gentleman, mentor, friend, soldier, patriot, teacher, grandfather and father as he was and always will be for me and for you.

"On one hand the voice of thanksgiving we hear is a joyful one for the many gifts Dad imparted. Yet our hearts are tinged with the sorrow of separation.

"Gratitude for the life of my father fills my heart with joy because he was a giver of loving-kindness, tender mercies, forbearance and so much more. My father’s actions and his example taught us to celebrate the life we are given with a wellspring of hope, patience, purpose and humility.

"His hands were always busy, and his example came to symbolize his love for family, the demands of integrity, his work ethic, conscience, quiet vision and love of community and country. We may not have known, you and I, that my Dad had a purpose in raising a new generation. How so?

"True love never analyzes. It profusely provides bountiful legacies to those who see the light. There are many of you here today who are not his children –yet in retrospect you are. You have my heartfelt gratitude for the joy and friendship –and the light- you brought to his life. I pray for your comfort in this time of sorrow.

"He never told us how to live graciously. Herbert Bingham Mead lived his example, and now we are called to do the same.

"We are here for such a short time. The most important words that my father spoke to all his children and friends are whispered in a language beyond mortal words now.

"In Dad’s last moments the sun set beyond the mountains of Oahu and into the vastness of the Pacific Ocean. The air was still. The music of my heart moved me to hear the most wonderful divine harmonies. Graceful and joyous sounds crystallized as stars appeared above.

"As day turned into twilight Dad was free. His unseen wings had spread out, and his spirit soared into the heavens. He is home.

"Thanks be to God for sharing the life of Herbert Bingham Mead. Aloha and God bless."

Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Jeep is a Jeep -Or So I Thought


 







This morning I received the following message from Mark Tombleson of Dunnigan, California:

I am currently writing a USN/USMC chapter in volume II of a series of books on the WWII MB and would be interested in including that photo of your father in the book.
If you are interested in learning more about the MB-N.O.M.-12 contract USN/USMC radio jeep that your father used the book on that topic will be published in less than a month. The Evolution of the Willys-Overland MB Jeep by Lloyd White Volume I is out now but does not pertain to the radio jeep. Volume II covers WWII and post war radio jeeps.

Mark also sent me this military vehicle forum thread. Click here! 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Greenwich Patch.com Blog: Chiang Kai-shek's Minister of War, Staff Enter Forbidden City, Beijing



You may or may not be aware that I started a similar history blog to this one on Greenwich Patch.com.

This is of a previous entry on the arrival of Chiang Kai-shek's war minister and his staff to the Forbidden City, Beijing, on November 18, 1945.

The above image is a screenshot. Go to this link to connect with Greenwich Patch.com and my parallel blog there. 


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Calling All Descendants of World War II U.S. China Marine Dads! Report for Duty!

Meet Fox Battery Radio Section, "Tung Hsien, China" (Tianjin), November 16, 1945
L to R: My father, Herbert Bingham Mead, Roberts, Van Sant, Hensley, and "Red" Roesch (holding the dog).
Are you one of their descendants? I'd like to hear from you. 

Before my father passed away in the twilight moments of his 86th birthday, Dad made a request.

His wish was that I travel to China,  return to the places where he and his fellow U.S. China Marines were stationed and places visited, and publish his photos and the stories of life in those heady days. It was not to necessarily be an exclusively military history.

The history that he wanted to be told and published was  to be a more personal one. What was life like for the American Marines? What about the Chinese, the Japanese nationals and others who found themselves in China after the end of hostilities in 1945? It was quite a quagmire. 

I started this blog site to help get that process started. I wanted those who peruse this blog site to bear witness to this historical journey. It is one that is still in progress.

Meet John Leszkeiwisz. Marco Polo Field, "Hadiman Street in Back Ground." "Peiping, China." Dated January 24, 1946.
Are you related to this man?  

Believe me when I tell you that I am enjoying this project. The purpose it has provided me is more than I have words to describe. I suppose my only frustration has been that I've not been able to spend the time needed to bring this to completion.

That's Mastrodomenico on the left, and pictured again with my father. Both are in front of the barracks.
Dated January 8, 1946


But I realize now that it is time to shift gears  -big time.

One of the wonderful blessings I've received in starting this blog site has been hearing from other descendants of other U.S. China Marines.

A number of you have contacted me via email identifying yourselves, sharing pictures, stories -and a shared desire to reconnect with our father's history as the last of the China Marines in the post-World War II era.

L to R: My father, Herbert Bingham Mead, Follen, Lt. Foote, Hensley. "Tung Hsien," (Tianjin), China.
Dated November 23, 1945
During this year's Chinese New Year celebrations I was contacted by two Chinese American friends of mine. Tyrone Liu and I attended Greenwich High School in my ancestral home town in Connecticut. Dr. Dave Wang of Laurelton Library in New York City and I have been friends for years, initially connected online via his web resource on the influence of Chinese civilization on the American Founding Fathers. 

When I mentioned that I was being contacted by other China Marine descendants both suggested that I broaden this 'My Dad the U.S. China Marine' project to include those who served with my father and others in postwar China.

In other words, why not turn this into a series? In hindsight it seems rather logical to me. 

So, starting now, I want to hear from you. I want to hear from the sons and daughters of the U.S. China Marines. A few of you have contacted me. Thank you for doing so! We need to stay in touch.

I learned that this year will be the final year of the annual reunion of American China Marines. It's true. 

Let's work together to ensure that this special history is preserved, published and perpetuated. Our Dad's would have liked that, don't you agree? 

Please contact me here at JeffreyBinghamMead@gmail.com. We've got work to do. 

Semper Fi!

Jeffrey Bingham Mead
Memorial Day, May 26, 2014